Adelaide motel fire that left residents with burns was not suspicious, police say

A fire at an Adelaide motel that left three men with severe burns was not considered suspicious, with investigators determining the fire was caused by recharging batteries.

Emergency services were called to the Comfort Hotel Adelaide Meridien on Melbourne Street shortly after 6:30am on Sunday.

Firefighters rescued about 15 people from intense flames inside the multi-story, 95-room complex.

Crews used ladders and an aerial lift to pick up stranded guests from balconies because flames had blocked access to a fire escape.

Seven people were taken to hospital for treatment, including several in critical condition.

A man in his 50s and two others in their 40s were admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital burn unit.

About 50 firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, which started on the second floor.

After initial suspicions, SA police later confirmed that the fire was not set on purpose.

“We’re not looking for an arsonist, he’s not a suspect in the [sense of being] deliberately lit, but the circumstances are unusual,” SA Police Deputy Commissioner John Venditto said Monday.

“We are going to leave that in the hands of the fire technicians from MFS and SAPOL before we can announce what it was about.”

A fire truck outside a hotel with people walking on the street
About 50 firefighters responded to the fire on Melbourne Street.(ABC NewsEric Tlozek)

Police identified the exact cause as recharging the batteries.

“SafeWork SA is conducting further investigations into the matter,” SA police said.

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